January 13th, 2008
03:20 PM ET
5 years ago

Romney: Huckabee is 'channeling John Edwards'

(CNN) - Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney accused rival Mike Huckabee of “channeling John Edwards” in his economic stump speech as the two men tangled over taxes again Sunday.

“This kind of divisive, populist approach is like he's channeling John Edwards. It is not working for [Democratic candidate] John Edwards. It's not going to work for Mike Huckabee,” Romney told Wolf Blitzer on CNN’s Late Edition. “He said he’s cut taxes. How disingenuous can that be?”

The former Massachusetts governor was reacting to a Huckabee campaign ad running in Romney’s home state of Michigan in which the former Arkansas governor says, “I believe most Americans want their next president to remind them of the guy they work with, not the guy who laid them off” – what some have interpreted as a veiled jab at Romney, a former businessman.

Huckabee defended his fiscal record, and fired back at Romney. “I hate to say ‘poor Mitt,’ because a man with that much wealth is hardly ‘poor anything,’” Huckabee told Blitzer in a later interview Sunday.

“But you know, it's almost sad to watch him make these kinds of claims. He raised over half a billion dollars of fees in his own state,” he said. He also repeated claims that Romney had attacked Ronald Reagan.

Shortly after Huckabee’s CNN appearance, Romney’s campaign sent reporters another release criticizing his Arkansas record on taxes and government spending.

Romney and Huckabee have waged an increasingly brutal war of words since the closing days of the Iowa campaign. Two new polls show Romney in first place and Huckabee in third in Michigan’s Tuesday primary.

- CNN's Peter Lanier

Filed under: Mike Huckabee • Mitt Romney
soundoff (83 Responses)
  1. PA Guy

    Your safe Huck......Edwards only goes after DEMS
    Edwards is up to no good already. On CNN, he claims how he and Obama are so much alike on issues. LOL....I can see how this next debate is going to go! The guy is really scratching. I am looking forward to the next debate. My only hope is that the debate with Tim Russert is a REAL DEBATE! Not like the love fest we saw last time between Obama and Edwards. Russert should "NOT" allow this to happen. Stick to issues. Obama and Edwards truly displayed their weakness after that fine display of debating.

    January 13, 2008 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  2. David

    Mitt Romney is ruthless... he'll say anything to get votes. At least bush has convictions... this man would be a disaster as president.

    January 13, 2008 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  3. Jen Cedar Falls, IA

    Huckabee is so out of his league in this race it's not even funny.

    Huck can't answer questions, can't do the math, throws jokes out there to toss the interviews into a comedy scene.

    Huck sucks it up to McCain, they're both hoping to derail Romney. Huck and McCain behave like little children on a playground, taking turns at personally punching Mitt, but Mitt stands tall, presents the facts and emits true integrity. I'll call them McBee, they're sadly unprofessional and extremely immature.

    McBee throws out the personal attacks at Mitt, while Mitt just brings up McBee's records, not personal issues.

    Huckabee is one of those so called "Shirt-sleeve-wearing Christians" that people have GOT to beware of. He's liberal in conservative clothing and he's judgmental while wearing a pastor's robe.

    McCain is obviously too old at 72 by Nov. to be a qualified Pres for 4 yrs, let alone 8. He's a liberal in conservative clothing, take a look at HIS record!!!!! Not a conservative at ALL! Just a war-monger.

    Huckabee showed a very slimey side to himself here in Iowa with the "ad" that he was low enough to make, but not low enough to show to anyone but the press, who he knew would show it anyway. OOOOHHHH, that was some really bad character sighting there, it reeks of Clinton-tactics!

    January 13, 2008 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  4. Lee

    I just find it hard to believe that the media has completley ignored the fact that Mitt has more delegates than any other Republican. His second place finishes in Iowa and New Hampshire were a disappointment to be sure, but his victory in Wyoming with 67% of the vote netted him almost as many delegates as Huckabee got in Iowa or McCain got in New Hampshire, and Romney's delegate count from both of those states was not far behind first place. This race is far from over, and has hardly come to areas where Mitt really has strength.

    January 13, 2008 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  5. Bill


    January 13, 2008 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  6. Wilhemina

    Mitt is not worthy! simple

    January 13, 2008 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  7. Katie

    Go Mitt!!! I'm sick of people attacking him because of his wealth. Don't we want someone leading this country who has the ability to be a successful business leader and MAKE money? He would do great things for this economy.

    McCain has had how many years to try to make a difference in this country, and yet his home state of Arizona – he admits – has one of the largest illegal immigrant problems STILL. Why hasn't he focused on this sooner? Isn't that what a Senator is supposed to do – work in the interest of his own state? Seems like he's been trying to create his platform for Presidency for a while and lost focus of the people who actually sent him to Washington.

    Romney will go to Washington and FIX IT – he's the only one with the brain power to do it!

    January 13, 2008 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  8. Texas Tea Time

    Romney/Thompson in 2008!!! WOO HOOO!!!! By the way....as for "the "guy you work with vs the guy who laid you off"....lol..anybody besides ME ever have the misfortune at some point in their life to get STUCK with a lazy, lying,chuckling joking, horseplaying, BUM who let YOU do both YOUR job and HIS while he amused himdelf and played the class clown act??? Who NEVER pulled his/her own eight? Even on an assembly line? Take a good close look at class clown Hucksterbee. Pasty skin. Tender soft hands and fingers. ANd he confesed himself after he couldn't even make it as a third rate musician, he opted for PREACHING..why did he say on Leno??? BECAUSE IT BEAT ACTUALLY HAVING TO WORK FOR A LIVING!!!! The ONLY honest words to come out of dear Hucksterbee's mouth. The tender ex-pilsbury doughnut boy/stay-poofy mushmellow man has made his living SWEET TALKING PEOPLE OUT OF THEIR MONEY EVER SINCE!!! First as a Southern Baptist Preacher/Televangelist, and then as a Politician. One and the same...

    ROMNEY/THOMPSON in 2008!!! WOO HOOO!!!

    January 13, 2008 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  9. Truth

    Nice job "Brigham". I guess you attended one of Huckabee's anti-Mormon speeches. You may be shocked to discover this, but Mormons (i.e. members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) are Christians. Don't embarrass good Christians with your forked tongue!

    I wish all the GOP candidates would lay off on their "attacks", but at least most of Romney's "attacks" are on people's records and not personal attacks. I think this one comparing Huckabee to Edwards is unncessary. Huckabee's response was entertaining though. Darned those rich founding fathers who squandered their money trying to serve the country! George Washington was the largest land owner in Virginia. Romney made his money on his own and now wants to continue serving his Country.

    January 14, 2008 12:10 am at 12:10 am |
  10. John

    I am a strong supporter of Mitt Romney and I do not understand Mike Huckabee. He claims that Mitt attacks him but Mitt only talks about the issues while Huckabee attacks Mitts wealth, his character, and calls him dishonest. I am going to vote for Mitt Romney because he will now how to save our country. Mike Huckabee gave tuition breaks to illegal immigrants. As a college student I see so many others who could use that money and Huckabee takes the people’s money and instead of helping those he represents he helps those who are breaking the law. Romney is a strong conservative who is tough against illegal immigrant and he wants all capital gains for someone who makes fewer than 200,000 to be tax-free. I will be graduating soon and I love the idea that I can invest money and not have to worry about paying taxes on it. Go Romney!!!

    January 14, 2008 12:21 am at 12:21 am |

    When Romney said JOBS JOBS JOBS he warmed me up and he gets my vote.

    January 14, 2008 12:23 am at 12:23 am |
  12. Ronnie Silva

    Go Mike!

    January 14, 2008 06:28 am at 6:28 am |
  13. J, KY

    Can the candidates use another word besides "divisive"...do they even know what it means? Seems they all use it to the extreme...

    January 14, 2008 06:41 am at 6:41 am |
  14. AJ; Montpelier, VT

    Mark, Lansing, MI posted:

    Mitt is right. Him and Thompson are the only real fiscal conservatives in the group. McCain and Huckabee are big government liberals as far as I am concerned.

    Go Mitt Romney in '08! It all starts in Michigan

    I'm with you Mark. Lets bring in Mitt or Fred and their jackbooted cronies and let them give those pinko libs the what for!! I'm for torture; war; guns for everyone; elimination of taxes (dont know how were going to run the government with no revenue, but hey, thats not my problem,) forcing women to have children no matter what the circumstances (killing embryo's is taking a human life and we cant do that!) Extending the death penalty to all crimes except for a few motor vehicle violation (and most of those too) and dont get me started on what we should do to those gays. Concentration camps would be too good. Yep – we conservatives need to stick together!

    I could go on and on but you get my drift........

    January 14, 2008 07:37 am at 7:37 am |
  15. Jack K.

    The only reason it's not working for John Edwards–is the same reason it probably won't work for Huckabee.

    Namely–the powerbroker's who contribute so richly to the DEM and REP parties–are pressuring their respective DNC/RNC leadership–to distance themselves from the candidates, and discredit them.


    Because the DNC, Chairman and the RNC, Chairman–are frightened to death that if either of the two candidates are elected–business as usual with regard to special interest groups, lobbyiests, and of course,.,.,.all important donations from those entities will dry up.

    I say–the ONLY candidates in this race who are TRULY bringing change to Washington–are Huckabee and Edwards!!

    Too bad, the good old/bad old boys and girls in Washington–don't want to tip the apple cart–so neither will win their parties bid for President–at least, not if their party leadership has anything to do with it.

    If it's to happen–it will have to be from pissed off, ready for change, grass-roots Americans!

    John Edwards-2008
    (If it doesn't work this time–I may just stop voting!!)

    January 14, 2008 07:54 am at 7:54 am |
  16. william walsh col ohio

    is edwards still in the race?

    January 14, 2008 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  17. RB, from the bay state

    Beware Mitt Romney.

    A dangerous man hides behind the pretty mask.............................

    January 14, 2008 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  18. Wayne, Greenville TX

    And Mitt Romney is channelling David Koresh, the "Wacko from Waco".

    January 14, 2008 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  19. Mark, Lansing, MI

    Michigan loves Mitt and will turn out for him big tomorrow.

    Romney '08

    January 14, 2008 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  20. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    If people have good ideas, then why not say this person has a good idea and I will make it happen when I win office. It is said, "Who is wise, he who learns from everyone." This means that if Huckabee sees good ideas in Edwards, then he should go for it. Granted, in this situation I would think that it would be better to just vote for Edwards if you think the idea is good.

    So, if your state only allows you to vote on one side and it is too late to change from Republican to Democrat so that you can vote for Edwards who came up with the idea instead of Huckabee who is borrowing the idea, then vote for someone who really can't win Ron Paul.

    January 14, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  21. linda

    Mitt is the man for the whitehouse. If anyone can fix the economy, it is Mitt.

    Go Mitt.

    January 14, 2008 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  22. J, Cali

    LOL – so many sheep in the bunch. no wonder these politicians think they can do anything when there are ignorant people who can't see their true colors. Mitt is a wealthy silver spoon baby trying to show he can do better than daddy. He doesn't want to be president for any reason except beating daddy at his own game. He's made his millions (or inherited them), and the only thing to do now is do what daddy couldn't. Heck, George W was probably the same ...

    Vote McCain! He actually wants to lead this country. At his age, his only motivation is to leave this country better than when he arrived on it.

    January 14, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  23. Davis

    Brigham is not intelligent

    January 14, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  24. Brian

    If Huckabee thinks Romney is negative, he should hope he doesn't get the Rep nomination. The Dems won't be so nice! They won't just stick to his record! If you can't take the heat, stay out of the kitchen!!!

    January 14, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  25. AJ, Iowa City, IA

    Romney '08!!!!

    Hick-a-bee will never survie outside the mid-west. Don't you people see that this gives creedence to Micheal Moore's comments about "Jesus Land!" Come on people, think for yourself and don't follow the lemming in front of you off the cliff!

    January 14, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
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